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Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)

Gomphrena, Globe Amaranth, Bachelor's Button, Globe Flower, Red Globe Everlasting, Gomphrena globosa, Gomphrena haageana

Gomphrena, Globe Amaranth, Bachelor's Button, Globe Flower, Red Globe Everlasting, Gomphrena globosa, Gomphrena haageana
Globe amaranth, Gomphrena

Incredibly showy, Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) is prized by gardeners for its cheery, long-lasting flowers. Blooming its heart out all summer long and sometimes until frost, this wonderful annual or perennial plant is easy to grow, tolerates heat and drought, and attracts beneficial insects to the garden. To double the pleasure, the brightly colored flowers can be dried without losing their vibrancy to create everlasting bouquets. Gomphrena is a mighty workhouse flower every gardener should be growing.

What is Globe Amaranth?

Gomphrena, also known as globe amaranth, is a genus of plants in the Amaranthaceae family native to Central America, the Southern U.S., and Mexico. It is cultivated worldwide as an ornamental, as well as having uses in traditional medicine and as a source of betacyanins for use in the food and cosmetic industry.

Description: Gomphrena is a popular annual ornamental plant known for its round, bright, and long-lasting flowers. The flowers resemble small clover flowers and are often used in dried floral arrangements due to their longevity.

Growth Habit & Size: Gomphrena plants have a bushy, upright growth habit. Depending on the variety, they typically grow 6-30 inches (15-75 cm) tall and 6-24 inches (15-60 cm) wide.

Flowers: Gomphrena flowers are small and rounded and come in bright colors, including pink, purple, white, orange, and red. Each flower head consists of many tiny florets giving the appearance of a single, round bloom.

Foliage: The leaves of Gomphrena are oblong or lance-shaped, medium green, and arranged oppositely on the stem. The young leaves are woolly-white and turn green with sparsely white hairs when matured.

Blooming Season: Gomphrena flowers bloom from early summer until the first frost in fall. The flowers retain their color well, which makes them a popular choice for dried flower arrangements.

Hardiness: As an annual, Gomphrena is not frost-tolerant but can grow as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.

Uses: Gomphrena is used in a variety of ways in the garden, including in borders, containers, rock gardens, or as a cut or dried flower. Globe Amaranth flowers can be cut for fresh arrangements. They last 10-14 days in a vase and seem to last forever when dried in everlasting bouquets.

Edible: The flowers are edible and can be used as a garnish or brewed for tea which is reported to have anti-oxidant and medicinal properties.

Pollinators: The brightly colored flowers of Gomphrena are attractive to butterflies, making them a beneficial addition to a pollinator garden.

Toxicity: Gomphrena is non-toxic and safe to grow around pets and children.

Deer and Rabbit: Gomphrena is usually not the first choice for deer, making it a good choice for areas where these animals may be a problem.

Drought: Once established, Gomphrena is very drought-tolerant, making it a great option for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.

Invasiveness: Gomphrena is not known to be invasive. It self-seeds lightly but is generally easy to control.

Key Facts: In addition to its use in gardens, Gomphrena has also been used in traditional medicine. In some cultures, it’s believed to have a number of health benefits, including improving skin health and circulation. Despite its tropical origins, Gomphrena is an easy-to-grow plant that is quite resistant to heat and drought, making it a favorite in many summer gardens.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Genus Gomphrena
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 6" - 4'
(15cm - 120cm)
Spread 6" - 2'
(15cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Edging
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
Gomphrena globosa ‘Ping Pong Series’ (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena globosa (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena haageana (Rio Grande Globe Amaranth)

Popular Globe Amaranth Species

  • Gomphrena globosa (Globe Amaranth) is a charming, bushy annual boasting a profusion of clover-like flower heads composed of pink, purple, or white papery bracts. Blooming for months from early summer to the first frost, the flowers are borne on stiff, upright branched stems. Native to Central America, Globe Amaranth grows up to 6-24 inches tall (15-60 cm).
  • Gomphrena haageana (Rio Grande Globe Amaranth) is a tender perennial, often treated as an annual, boasting a profusion of ball-shaped flowers composed of fiery orange papery bracts. Peeping from the bracts are tiny yellow flowers. Blooming from early summer to the first frost, the flowers can be riveting in the garden. Native to the Southern U.S. and Mexico, they grow up to 24-30 inches tall (60-75 cm).

Why Should I Grow Globe Amaranth

There are numerous reasons to consider growing Globe Amaranth (Gomphrena) in your garden:

Long-Lasting Blooms: Globe Amaranth blooms from early summer all the way into fall, providing a consistent source of vibrant color in your garden.

Drought Tolerance: Once established, Gomphrena is exceptionally drought-tolerant, making it a smart choice for gardens in arid climates or regions prone to dry spells.

Attracts Pollinators: The bright, round flowers of Gomphrena are magnets for butterflies, adding another layer of life and beauty to your garden.

Deer Resistance: These plants are not a preferred food source for deer, which makes them an excellent choice for areas where these creatures are common.

Great for Cut and Dried Arrangements: The flowers of Gomphrena retain their color and shape when cut, making them a wonderful addition to both fresh and dried flower arrangements.

Easy to Grow: Gomphrena is fairly low-maintenance, requiring little beyond a sunny location and well-drained soil. They’re also relatively disease and pest-free.

Versatile Use: Globe Amaranth fits well in various garden settings. Whether you want to add color to your borders, create a vibrant rock garden, or fill your containers with a hardy bloomer, Gomphrena can do it all.

Variety of Colors: Available in shades of pink, purple, white, orange, and red, there’s a Globe Amaranth to match any color scheme.

All these features make Globe Amaranth a valuable addition to any garden, providing color, versatility, and hardiness in one beautiful package.

Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’ (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena globosa ‘Ping Pong Pink’ (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena haageana ‘Strawberry Fields’ (Rio Grande Globe Amaranth)

When to Plant Gomphrena?

  • Seeds can be sown directly in the garden after your last spring frost date. Sow seeds at 60-65°F (15-18°C).
  • Alternatively, start seeds indoors about 6-8 weeks before the last frost.
  • Globe Amaranth germinates quickly, sprouting within 5-10 days and blooming in about 85-100 days.

Where to Plant Gomphrena?

  • Globe Amaranth can be grown as an annual plant in hardiness zones 2-11 or as tender perennials in hardiness zones 9-11.
  • Globe Amaranth performs best in full sun (at least 6 hours of sunlight daily) in any moderately fertile, well-drained soil.
  • Good drought tolerance once established but performs best with regular moisture throughout the growing season.
  • Globe Amaranth thrives in heat and tolerates dry soils and clay soils.
  • Globe Amaranth is a great choice for beds and borders, edging, containers, cottage gardens, and cutting gardens.
  • Bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects are drawn to the flowers, making Globe Amaranth a valuable addition to the vegetable garden.
  • Globe Amaranth looks best planted in groups or drifts and is a good companion plant for Celosia, Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susan), Tagetes (Marigold)Zinnia.

How to Plant Gomphrena?

  • When sowing directly into the garden, clear the area of weeds, then rake the surface to a fine, crumbly texture.
  • It is more successful to start the Globe Amaranth seeds indoors.
  • Set the seed on the soil surface. Do not cover with soil because Globe Amaranth needs light to sprout.
  • Keep your newly sown Globe Amaranth at 75-85°F°F (25-30°C).
  • Keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout, which should take about 5-10 days.
  • When the plants are 3-5 in. tall (7-12 cm) and nighttime temperatures outdoors are at least 60-65°F (15-18°C), harden them off by setting them outside in the shade for a few hours each day, gradually increasing the time and sunlight.
  • Transplant to the garden
  • Pinch young plants to promote bushiness.
Gomphrena globosa ‘Gnome Series’ (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena globosa Pinball™ Purple (Globe Amaranth)
Gomphrena pulchella Truffula™ Pink (Globe Amaranth)

Growing and Caring Tips

Water and Moisture

  • Globe Amaranth is somewhat drought tolerant but will perform better in moist soil.
  • Water regularly throughout the growing season.
  • Water when the soil’s top 1-2 inches (2-5 cm) are dry.

Fertilizer

  • Globe Amaranth is a light feeder and does not need much fertilizer to thrive. If you mulch your plant with compost, you will not need to use fertilizer at all.

Deadheading / Pruning

  • Globe Amaranth does not need deadheading.
  • Pinch young plants to promote bushiness.

Harvesting

  • The flowers are beautiful fresh, and excellent in dried flower arrangements and bouquets.
  • Harvest flowers when they are fully developed.
  • Cut an entire branching stem all the way to ground level. This sets up the plant to produce more stems.
  • The flowers have a long vase life – 10 to 14 days.
  • They can be dried easily if hung upside down in a cool, dark room. They retain their color indefinitely.

Propagating

  • Globe Amaranth is propagated easily from seed.

Pest and Diseases

  • Globe Amaranth has no serious pest or disease issues. However, some problems may occasionally occur:
  • Powdery mildew, gray mold, and fungal leaf spots during prolonged cool, damp weather. Provide good poor air circulation between plants.

Recommended Companion Plants

Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (Purple Fountain Grass)
Melampodium leucanthum (Blackfoot Daisy)
Zinnia elegans (Zinnia)
Tagetes (Marigold)
Rudbeckia hirta (Black-Eyed Susan)
Celosia
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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 2 - 11
Heat Zones 1 - 11
Climate Zones 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Annuals, Perennials
Genus Gomphrena
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Height 6" - 4'
(15cm - 120cm)
Spread 6" - 2'
(15cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Dried Arrangements, Cut Flowers, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Dry Soil, Clay Soil
Attracts Bees, Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers, Edging
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage
Compare All Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)
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